COFFS Harbour Showground should become the city’s playground and Brelsford Park should become part of the CBD’s commercial centre and the home of a new Myer store, says Rodger Pryce.
The Coffs Harbour businessman and developer says he has been taking a long hard look at the State Government’s Draft Coffs Harbour City Centre Plan and the draft plan for the Coffs Harbour Showground precinct.
He described the Draft Coffs Harbour City Centre plan as ‘an absolute disaster’, saying it did not allow for any redevelopment of the CBD.
Meanwhile he said the showground draft plan did not relate to the draft city centre plan, in spite of being in the heart of the city.
Mr Pryce said Coffs Harbour had a great opportunity to expand the cramped CBD into the 5.2ha (5200sqm) Brelsford Park, attract a Myer department store to the city in an attractive setting, and acquire the showground as a wonderful area for recreation and community use, which could be linked to the CBD with a bridge from Castle Street.
“Our CBD is extremely cramped and restricted in size compared to Ballina or Port Macquarie,” Mr Pryce said.
“The structure of individual lots and access ways means it will continue to stagnate unless we can find some way to expand the overall area – we need to look a long way into the future.”
Mr Pryce, who is part of the consortium developing the new Coles supermarket on the site of the old Tuckerbag store in Harbour Drive said their site was the third largest single site in the CBD, showing the small size of most blocks.
He said expanding the city’s commercial zone into Brelsford Park would provide an ideal site for a Myer store and other developments.
He said the intentions of zonings at Park Beach Plaza were to support the city centre area.
“Meanwhile I suspect no matter which party is in power in the State Government they are getting ready to ‘hive off’ a part or the whole of the showground and we should make sure we secure it for the community.
“If we are not careful we will lose the showground,” he said.
“We need ownership of the area, while we don’t have ownership, council don’t want it because of the cost.”
Work on the showground is largely funded by income from the caravan park.
“We don’t have the money to develop Brelsford Park.”
Funds from the sale of Brelsford Park land for commercial development could be used to relocate the agricultural show to a new location, possibly off Bruce King Drive and develop further community facilities on the showground, he said.